General Counsel & Company Secretary in London, United Kingdom

East West Rail is a proposed new rail link between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge and potentially beyond. As part of the wider plans for this strategically important corridor, it is one of the most high profile infrastructure projects in the UK today. The new railway will improve local connectivity and serve as a catalyst for economic development and the creation of new housing, as well as significantly reducing existing journey times.

We are building a diverse team and we welcome people with different types of experience and outlook.

We offer a truly breath-taking opportunity to:

  • Innovate, positively disrupt and make impactful decisions
  • Openly share your ideas and knowledge
  • Be part of a passionate, diverse and friendly team
  • Learn, develop and build the career of your dreams
  • Have the right work-life balance through flexible working arrangements
  • Be rewarded and recognised for your input

Key accountabilities:

As General Counsel and Company Secretary for EWR Co you will:

  • Provide accurate legal guidance to the Executive and Board on all matters that affect EWR Co.
  • Ensure that the company is in compliance with its legal and contractual obligations
  • Draft, negotiate and review key commercial and procurement agreements essential to EWR Co.’s operations and activities
  • Support the scheme’s TWAO and DCO application processes undertaken by or on behalf of EWR Co. including the interpretation of relevant planning, environmental and equalities legislation, stakeholder agreements and other consents, and control the legal aspects of the processes undertaken by EWR Co.
  • Manage legal risks, mitigating actions, litigation and dispute resolution to enable the organisation to make sound decisions based on expert advice
  • Be accountable for understanding and translating implications from legal and regulatory changes, owning associated communications to the business
  • Undertake the company secretarial duties by:
  • acting as a point of contact between the Board (in particular NEDs) and the Executive and managing communications with the Board
  • developing and managing appropriate systems to ensure high standards of non-financial corporate governance, with particular responsibility for registers of Board and management members’ interests, Gift and Hospitality Registers, legal and contract risk management
  • arranging Board meetings, agendas and papers and advising on content as appropriate
  • preparing Board minutes (for public disclosure) and action item lists
  • advising and keeping the Board updated on key legal matters, including anticipated or actual litigation involving EWR Co.
  • drafting documentation required to support EWR Co’s activities as an ALB, including relevant parts of the Annual Report and other documents required by legislation and Parliamentary procedures
  • maintaining EWR Co’s statutory books and records, and ensuring relevant filings are made with Companies House on a timely basis

Team Dimensions

  • Directly reporting to the CEO
  • Some oversight of EWR Co. administrative support colleagues in relation to the company secretariat duties detailed above

Given the early stage of the project, it is likely that the nature of the role may evolve as the project progresses. It is also possible that other ad-hoc activities and duties may be required.

You should apply if you have:

As General Counsel and Company Secretary for EWR Co, you will have extensive experience as a practising solicitor (PQE), preferably in a regulated industry. In-house experience will be an advantage.

Preferably, you will also have some experience of holding roles in fast paced and complex environments during the setup of a new organisation.

Your skills and experience will include:

  • Expert knowledge of relevant rail, procurement and other applicable legislation, standards and HSSE regulations
  • Expert knowledge and understanding of corporate law and procedures
  • Extensive practical experience of risk management and risk oversight
  • Proven experience to create legal defensive or proactive strategies
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Experience in providing professional legal advice and assurance to infrastructure delivery teams

Education and Qualifications

  • Qualified solicitor or barrister or legal executive
  • Currently practising or have been in practice within the last 2 years

You will need to have the right to work in the UK.

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